What's hot: Starting today, grouper season is open. Gag grouper is still off-limits in federal waters. Other shallow-water grouper are open in federal and state waters. The heavy rains of this week generated a lot of runoff and that should lower offshore bottom visibility.
Good tactic: If you hunt gags in lower visibility, try to fish your spot or chum it up before you go spearfishing. This tactic gets the gags to swim down the ledge and stay under your boat.
Two tournaments: The Clearwater Classic is today with the weigh-in at the Clearwater Marina. This is new to the area. The Tampa Bay Spearfishing Challenge is next weekend. Divers are coming from as far away as Colorado and New York. The public can view the weigh-in from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 10 at the WingHouse restaurant in Pinellas Park. See tampabayspearfishingclub.org for more information.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at CaptainBillHardman@gmail.com or (727) 344-3483.